Marine Link
Wednesday, December 6, 2023


Marine salvage is the process of rescuing a ship, its cargo, or other property from peril. Salvage encompasses rescue towing, putting out fires, patching or repairing a ship, refloating a sunken or grounded vessel, moving a disabled vessel in order to clear navigation channels, and raising sunken ships or their cargo. Equipment involved in salvage operations may include cranes, floating dry docks, and support vessels (such as tugboats). Commercial divers may be called upon to perform underwater tasks and monitor progress below the surface.

Protecting the marine environment from pollution from cargoes such as oil or other contaminants is often an important part of salvage activities. Usually the vessel or valuable parts of the vessel or its cargo may be recovered for its resale value, or for scrap. The vast majority of salvage operations are contracted to qualified seamen and engineers working as professional salvors. Usually, contracted agents expect no financial reward unless the salvage operation is at least partially successful.

If salvage is not performed under a contract, then the rescuer must act voluntarily and aside from any legal duty to act, other than the acknowledged duty to render assistance to those in peril at sea or to attend after a collision. If the owner or the owner’s agent is still on the ship, they can refuse offers of assistance. A vessel found entirely deserted or abandoned without hope or intention of recovery is considered derelict and is fair game for anyone who comes across it. It is not true, however, that the rescuer or salvor automatically becomes the owner of the property. The owner always has the option to reclaim his property by paying an appropriate reward.

Tags: Salvage

(Photo: Austal USA)

Austal USA Lays Keel for USNS Billy Frank, Jr.

Mobile, Ala. shipbuilder Austal USA held a keel laying ceremony for USNS Billy Frank…

Copyright Yellow Boat/AdobeStock

Tanker Spills and Preserving OPA 90 Experience

The maritime industry has seen a very long sequence of environmental regulations…

Coast Guard marine safety engineers assigned to the Marine Safety Center, working for the Marine Board of Investigation for the Titan submersible case, conduct a survey of the aft titanium endcap from Titan in the North Atlantic Ocean October 1, 2023. The endcap was recently recovered from the seafloor and successfully transferred to a U.S. port for analysis. (Photo: U.S. National Transportation Safety Board)

Titan Submersible Debris and Human Remains Recovered from the Seafloor

The U.S. Coast Guard on Tuesday said its engineers recovered remaining debris and…

Credit: SAL Heavy Lift

SAL Heavy Lift Charters Chinese Semi-sub Duo

SAL Heavy Lift said Friday it had chartered two modern semi-submersible deck carriers…

(Photo: Bollinger Shipyards)

Bollinger Christens Lead US Navy Towing and Salvage Vessel

Bollinger Shipyards announced it has christened the USNS Navajo (T-ATS 6), the lead…

Credit: U.S. Coast Guard

Recovery Efforts Continue on Grande Costa D’Avorio Car Carrier After Deadly Fire

Salvage and post-fire recovery operations continue on the Grande Costa D’Avorio car…


Burning Car Carrier off Dutch Coast Being Towed Away from Shipping Lanes

A burning car carrier off the Dutch coast is being towed to a new location away from…

U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Zeita Merchant, the captain of the port and federal on-scene coordinator, addresses in front of the Grande Costa D’Avorio in Port Newark, New Jersey, July 11, 2023. (U.S Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Mikaela McGee)

Ship Fire at Port Newark Extinguished

The Unified Command consisting of the U.S. Coast Guard, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey…

(Photo: U.S. Coast Guard)

Salvors Raise Fishing Vessel That Sank Near Santa Cruz Island

A salvage team has refloated a charter fishing vessel that sank near California's…

(Image: Austal USA)

Austal USA to Build Fifth T-ATS Ship for the US Navy

Mobile, Ala. shipbuilder Austal USA has been awarded a $71,706,745 fixed-price incentive…

(Image: Kongsberg Maritime)

Kongsberg to Design and Equip Suez Canal's New Salvage Tugs

Kongsberg Maritime announced it has won a contract to provide the design and equipment…

FSO Safer (Photo: United Nations)

Operation to Empty Yemen Safer Oil Tanker Set to Begin

Operations to salvage 1.1 million barrels of oil from a decaying tanker moored off…

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